El Dorado Shooter, a distant sixth in the California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 2, posted an impressive win over 12 rivals Saturday in the $72,200 Oakland Handicap at Golden Gate Fields.
El Dorado Shooter held off 2-1 favorite Halo Cat to win the six-furlong Oakland by a length in a quick 1:08.26 under jockey Ron Warren, Jr.
El Dorado Shooter, trained by Clifford Delima, who bred him, broke sharply and dueled for the lead outside of Gibson County for a half-mile before taking command. The 5-year-old gelding opened up a three-length advantage in midstretch and continued on strongly to the wire to earn his ninth victory in 18 career starts.
Delima's wife, Barbara, who celebrated her birthday Saturday, owns El Dorado Shooter. With the victory, El Dorado Shooter presented his owner with a birthday gift of $43,850.
"It really felt great to win on my wife's birthday and get her some extra Christmas money," said Delima.
"(El Dorado Shooter) did everything absolutely perfect today," said Warren. "All the things he did wrong down there (at Santa Anita), he did the complete opposite today. (At Santa Anita) he threw a fit and was soaking wet when I got on him. He was dull in the post parade and dull in the gate. He ran a half-mile with me nudging him and that was it.
"Today he was dragging me the whole way and running comfortably," Warren continued. "It sure is fun to hit the quarter pole with one dragging you to the lead."
El Dorado Shooter snapped a six-race losing streak Saturday and paid $18.80 after registering his first victory since he captured the Danville Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on March 25, 2001.
Halo Cat, who was coming off a win in the Albany Handicap on Nov. 9 at Golden Gate Fields, took second by a half-length over Profound Secret.